I recently had my annual physical check-up. When my health care provider asked what was my most important health concern at the moment, I had a few to talk about.
Sleeplessness. Weight gain. Hot flashes. Moodiness. Digestive disturbances. And some others too personal to talk about here.
She said, “Girlfriend, welcome to peri-menopause!”
Great. Now how do I go forward?
At this stage of the game, I plan to manage my symptoms with a holistic approach and avoid the synthetic hormones for as long as possible, and maybe forever. My plan includes:
- some well-chosen herbals that I discussed with my provider and got approval for;
- a gentle exercise program (I am NOT an athlete… I got nothing to prove here!);
- careful attention to diet and nutrition;
- and most of all, making self care a priority during these years of transition.
My self care plan includes a lot of different things that nurture me and make me happy. Things like warm scented baths, gardening, writing, reading novels, and (of course!) regular bodywork, to name a few.
That last part, the regular bodywork, isn’t only about feel good bliss. It actually can help decrease menopausal symptoms.
A recent 2012 clinical study was done to find out how the common symptoms of menopausal women were effected from receiving aromatherapy massage, massage with no aromatherapy, and those who got no massage at all.
“Each participant in the aromatherapy massage group received 30-minute aromatherapy treatment sessions twice a week for 4 weeks with aroma oil, whereas participants in the placebo massage group received the same treatment with plain oil. No treatment was provided to participants in the control group. The outcome measures in this study were menopausal symptoms, as obtained through the Menopause Rating Scale.”
The study found significant decreases in the menopausal symptoms of both groups of women who received massage, with the most decreases found in the group receiving the aromatherapy massage.
Wouldn’t you have liked to participate in this study? Two massages a week for a solid month!! Nice.
While most of us can’t manage a massage quite that often, surely we can carve out time at least once a month, possibly twice a month. For the truly dedicated perhaps even once a week!
The bottom line is that one massage every once in a while isn’t going to cut it – if your goal is to improve your overall health and well-being, that is. To accomplish that, you have to find a regular schedule that works for you and commit to it, just like exercise, dental cleanings, and showering regularly.
Are you ready to make massage a regular part of your health routine? I will be waiting to hear from you!